Yemeni prime minister lands in Riyadh ahead of peace talks

Arab coalition delivers food and water to Yemenis in first air drop trial

epa06673852 Colonel Turki al-Maliki, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition forces against Houthi forces, addresses a news conference in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, 16 April 2018. Officials said that  Riyadh Air Defense intercepted five missiles and two unmanned aircraft over the past few days.  EPA/Ahmed Yosri
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Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghr arrived in Riyadh on Sunday to take part in peace talks. Yemeni government negotiators are expected to meet with deputy UN envoy to Yemen Maeen Sharim in a sign that discussions about Hodeidah with Iran-backed Houthi rebels could resume.

UN Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths said last month he hoped to get the warring parties to the negotiating table in the next few weeks to end fighting in the port city.

Meanwhile in Yemen the Arab coalition and the Emirates Red Crescent announced on Saturday their first trial food drop in Yemen's northern Tuhaita district, in Hodeidah province.

The drops were carried out by coalition C17 airplanes, using the Joint Precision Airdrop System technology (JPAD) and provided 13 tonnes of food and clean water. The packages are expected to reach some 1,700 Yemenis.

The trial run was carried out to test the efficiency of the technology. The success of the operation is likely to see more JPAD assisted drops carried out in future.

JPAD is an American military airdrop system that uses GPS steerable parachutes and provides their exact landing location.

The trial drop, reports UAE state agency WAM, is part of the ongoing humanitarian assistance programme for Yemen. So far the coalition has delivered 12,900 food baskets in and around Hodeidah province.

In the Abyan governorate the Emirate Red Crescent distributed food baskets in areas recently liberated from Houthi control.

"The distribution of food baskets is part of a series of relief efforts undertaken by the UAE in Yemen, under the guidance of the UAE leadership, represented by its humanitarian arm the ERC," ERC coordinator Khalid Ibrahim Omar said.

Amid a pause in the Yemen governments forces' operation to retake Hodeidah city, Houthi rebels launched a missile from the northern Sa'ada governorate into neighbourhing Saudi Arabia.

The coalition spokesman Colonel Turki Al Malki announced on Saturday that the Royal Saudi Air Defence detected the missile.


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